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Redevelopment deal reached for former St. Paul Ford plant

ST. PAUL (AP) — A redevelopment deal has been reached for the former Ford Motor Co. plant in St. Paul that would feature thousands of new homes powered by renewable energy, officials announced Tuesday.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and other officials praised the final development deal with Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. The agreement will allow Ryan to buy the 122-acre vacant site in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood from Ford and move forward on the project to develop the site of a former Ford assembly plant that closed nearly eight years ago.

Ryan will ask St. Paul for $53 million in tax-increment financing to help build out infrastructure. That amount is part of more than $92 million in public and private funding to be spent on infrastructure. It’s a smaller amount than what Ryan previously proposed, but it’s possible the developer will ask for additional public funds.

Officials said the project will feature Minnesota’s largest urban solar array and hundreds of units of affordable housing and could be worth $1 billion when fully developed. The deal requires St. Paul City Council approval, which officials hope will happen before the end of the year.

Ryan unveiled plans for a mixed-use development, featuring commercial and retail space and 3,800 units of housing on 40 new city blocks, with a mix of single-family homes, condos, row houses, apartment buildings and senior rentals. No building would be taller than six stories, and more than 50 acres would be set aside as public-access open space. About 1,000 permanent jobs are envisioned on-site, in addition to 14,500 construction jobs during development.

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